25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 NLT
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are encouraged (if not commanded) to help those around us who are in need. In the Old Testament, the harvesters of the crops were to leave any of the grain that was dropped for the poor and needy. They were also instructed not to glean the corners of the fields. They were also supposed to leave clusters of the fruit on the vine for the poor to pick. In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that those who help the poor and needy, visit the sick and in prison in His Name will be blessed. If a needy person comes to our door and asks for food and we have food in the house, we are never to send that person away hungry. Whatever we give up for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel brings hundred-fold blessing here on earth and eternal life in the age to come. It is truly the win-win situation of all times.
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments — Col. 2:1-4 NIV
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out. He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel. We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives. We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV